To map the influence of culture on the learning dispostion of a pupil


To map the influence of culture on the learning disposition of a pupil.

Evidence and reflection

This activity is directly based on the text of Section 3.1. It provides an opportunity to review the range of influences on a child and their capacity as a learner. Drawing up a table, as illustrated below, is a helpful way of organising thoughts.


Cultural resources and experiences

The mediation of language

Learning disposition

The influence of family and community




The influence of peers and friends at school




The influence of the school




The influence of the media and of new communication technologies





Think of a child or young person whom you know well. Consider the way culture and experiences influence the child’s understanding, the language he or she uses and the learning disposition he or she adopts. Complete each cell of the table, as far as you can, to map what you know about the sources of influence on that child.

If you have time it would be valuable to talk to the pupil and others – parents, peers and teachers – to improve the quality of your evidence.


Repeat this exercise with different pupils, or compare the results of similar activities by colleagues. What insights are produced by comparisons of children of different sex, ethnicity, religion, social class, attainment? You can see some examples of this sort of analysis in the final chapters of Pollard and Filer (1996, 1999).